ASIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE JAPAN

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     Sixth Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University

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last update 2002/03/09
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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181

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Session 23
Individual Paper Session: Contemporary Issues in Asia
Chair: Joel Campbell, Kansai Gaidai University

1) Peter Cave, University of Hong Kong. "What's Nationalism Got to Do with it? A Comparison of History Teaching in Japan and England"
2) Jung-Sun Park, California State University, Dominguez Hills. "Globalization, Nation-Building and Citizenship: The South Korean Case"
3) Barney Hope, California State University, Chico. "Thailand's Pak Mun Dam: Economic, Environmental, and Social Dimensions"

1) Peter Cave, University of Hong Kong. "What's Nationalism Got to Do With It? A Comparison of History Teaching in Japan and England"

This paper compares the teaching of potentially controversial or nationally embarrassing periods of national history in Japan and England, placing this in the context of the philosophy and practice of history teaching as a whole. Japan has often been criticised for allegedly teaching its schoolchildren about the history of Imperial Japan 1895-1945 in selective and misleading ways. England also has an imperialist past, but criticism of history teaching in England has been much less loud. Is this because English schoolchildren are taught objectively about the British Empire? This paper is based upon observations of history lessons at several secondary schools in England and in Japan, as well as on interviews with history teachers in both countries, high school students in England, and university students in Japan. It argues that both England and Japan devote relatively little curricular time to the study of their respective imperial pasts, and in both countries, students feel under-informed about the topic. However, this is not necessarily because of a deliberate cover-up of the facts. In each country, the way history as a whole is taught influences teaching about imperialism, as every other aspect of history. In order to change the way children learn about imperialism, it may be necessary to change the philosophy and practice of history teaching as a whole.

2) Park, Jung-Sun, California State University, Dominguez Hills. "Globalization, Nation-Building and Citizenship: the South Korean Case"

The rapid globalization has profoundly transformed the existing political, territorial and cultural boundaries, thereby challenging the sovereignty of nation-states. Although the ways of dealing with this challenge differ, the issue of (re)demarcating boundaries is a critical agenda in the local politics of most nation-states. Based on South Korea's changing notions and practices of citizenship, this paper will explore the current boundary-making and community-building processes in South Korea and its implications. In 1999, the South Korean government passed a special law regarding the status of overseas Koreans (haeoidongpoui bôpjôk jiwuiekwanhan teubôlbôp), granting de facto dual citizenship to select groups of overseas Koreans. According to the law, select overseas Koreans (including Korean Americans and Korean residents in Japan who are pro-South Korea) can have virtually the same kinds of rights as South Korean citizens (except for voting rights) while being exempt from certain duties such as military service. There are many ramifications of this law, but my inquiry will focus on the following three issues: first, how is a South Korean subject legally redefined and how is this going to affect South Koreans' sense of identity and community. Second, how is the redefinition related to the South Korean government's nation-building project, especially a construction of a "deterritorialized nation-state," in the face of globalization? Third, how will the de facto dual citizenship influence the relationships between South Korea and its neighboring countries?

3) Hope, Barney, California State University, Chico. "Thailand's Pak Mun Dam: Economic, Environmental, and Social Dimensions"

Thailand's developing economy requires an expanding electrical generation capacity. Increasing per-capita income and a developing industrial sector continue to create new demands for electricity. As the country's resources shifted from agriculture and the industrial sector expanded, the demand for electricity increase at a faster rate than GDP. Thailand boom years from 1986 to 1996 created new demands for electricity. Even with the collapse of the baht and the Thai economy in 1997, electricity demand continued its upper expansion as the economy began to recover in 1999 and 2000. The opening of one rapid transit system in Bangkok in December 2000 and Bangkok's first subway lines scheduled to open in 2002 will require additional electrical generating capacity.
Hydroelectricity and dams are a significant part of the Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand's strategy to meet increased energy demands. Hydroelectricity is a nonpolluting source of energy production, may result in flood control, may lead to the expansion of irrigated agriculture, and has the potential for tourism and recreation development. Hydroelectric power is its unique ability to meet peak load demands. However, there are a number of problems associated with the construction and operation of dams, and there are growing concerns in Thailand and the international development community about the unintended consequences of dam construction and operations.

This paper explores the economic, environmental, and social consequences of the construction and operation of the Pak Mun dam in Thailand's impoverished northeast. To what extent has meeting national energy requirements impacted northeast Thailand and the communities in the Mun River watershed? This paper reviews, discusses, and analyzes the literature on this topic, incorporates the author's visit to the Pak Mun dam and interviews with villagers on the Mun River affected by the dam, and incorporates slides into the paper presentation.

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